Hospital Risk Management

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Foundational Principles and Best Practices for Hospital Risk Management

When an effective hospital risk management program is in place, the most critical element—maintaining a culture focused on patient safety—is intangible. Safety culture is a shared belief among the entire hospital staff that safety is important, and a shared responsibility.

By definition, safety culture is part of organizational culture and is upheld by staff at all levels and in every department. Risk management is not just a clinical concern. Everyone contributes. Maintenance workers identify and remove trip hazards in and around the facility. Housekeeping plays a vital role in infection...


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Three Ways Rural Hospitals Can Reverse Financial Distress

Thin margins have long been a reality for most rural hospitals, but a worsening array of issues—from increasing charity care and bad debt to declining reimbursements and rural populations—have forced growing numbers of them into financial distress. Despite today’s challenging operating environment, many rural hospitals across the country are using a practical approach to get turned around before bankruptcy or closure become imminent threats.

Step 1: AWARENESS

Know the signs and symptoms of declining financial health

Certain financial indicators are clear signs that “business as usual” isn’t working and course...


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10 Ways to Improve Hospital Financial Performance Through Productivity Management

The transition to value-based care has required hospitals to improve patient experiences and outcomes, all at a lower cost. In this model, hospitals are responsible for the cost differential, so the urgency around hospital financial performance improvement has intensified. One of the biggest opportunities for hospitals is managing staff productivity, which means maintaining the right number and mix of all staff based on patient diagnoses and volume. Optimizing productivity is paramount because labor is usually the greatest expense for hospitals.

In CHC’s experience, almost every hospital has room to improve...


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John Yeary, CEO, Freestone Medical Center

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Service Isn’t Seasonal: Give Back to the Community All Year Round

GUEST BLOG

By John Yeary, CEO, Freestone Medical Center

The holidays are a time for giving and gathering. However, for hospitals, community involvement and giving back should be year-round priorities. This is especially true for hospitals serving small, tight-knit communities.

The CEO should set the example. For my part, as chief executive of Freestone Medical Center in Fairfield, Texas, I started simply by joining the Rotary Club. I’ve since found that each connection I make tends to create others, developing synergies that benefit both the hospital and the community. The...


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Blog

Supply Chain Savings Support Mission-Critical Objectives

Supply costs are one of the fastest-growing cost centers for hospitals. These spiraling expenses tend to hit community-based hospitals hard because many don’t wield enough purchasing power to command preferred pricing. Other hospitals, though larger or part of a health system, face unique supply chain challenges and concerns despite their greater purchasing power.

Holding the line on supply chain costs is, or should be, a top priority for community hospitals of all sizes. By reducing supply costs and better managing the supply chain, a hospital can expand its savings margin...


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Blog

What Would We Do Without Local Medical Care?

by Regina Keilers, Publisher, Fayette County Record, La Grange, Texas

I found myself in need of medical care again recently. The details of what was wrong are not really the important part of the story, what is important is how I was cared for.

I had a small spot on my arm (probably a bug bite) that was red and seemed to possibly be infected. I put some antibiotic cream on it and covered it up hop-ing that would take care of it. After a couple of days, (on a...


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Will Community Hospitals Stand the Test of Time?

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Will Your Hospital Stand the Test of Time?

Rural Hospitals Must Take Action to Right Themselves

Time is of the essence for community and rural hospitals. Since 2010, 88 of them have shut down, with more closures to come. Immediate action is required to help others avoid the same fate. Employees, patients and rural communities depend on it.

An operational assessment is often the first step to improving a hospital’s prospects. This process evaluates strategy, operations, staffing, supply chain, revenue cycle and leadership with the aim of reducing costs and increasing revenue—the tried-and-true formula for financial solvency.

Operational...


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Squeaky-Wheel IT vs. Enterprise IT: A Better Approach to Information Technology for Community Hospitals

It is time to think of IT differently—not as a business function but as a business partner with the same business objectives as your healthcare organization as a whole. That means strategic business goals should drive IT decisions. In healthcare organizations, the ultimate business goals are delivering superior patient care and improving outcomes. IT exists principally to support those and other goals.

Understanding IT in terms of a business partnership drives down costs. The main drivers of IT costs can be a “hard sell” by vendors to executives and physicians...


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Community Hospitals Are Economic Engines. How Are You Fueling Yours?

Metaphors commonly used to describe community hospitals underscore their importance to the regions they serve. They’ve been called economic engines, cornerstones of the community, and, by Forbes, the “financial glue” that holds communities together. Community hospitals tend to be one of the top employers in town, so when one closes, there are more consequences than traveling farther for hospital care.

Still, community hospitals are closing at a dispiriting rate—87 shut down in 26 states from January 2010 to July 2018, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. Countless...


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Hospital Culture

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Evaluating and Improving Your Hospital’s Culture

Organizational culture is made up of shared values, beliefs, traditions, attitudes and behaviors. All together, these cultural elements shape a hospital’s workplace environment and affect employee satisfaction and organizational success. Culture is pervasive and, like air, subject to quality changes that aren’t immediately apparent. Culture can become stale or even toxic. That’s why periodic cultural assessments are critical to your hospital’s health.

Cultural Assessment

One way healthcare leaders can gauge cultural health is by conducting informal walk-throughs, looking for cultural clues like that savvy job applicant. It is fairly easy...


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